Arizona Manufacturing: Its Evolution is Economic Prosperity

by RaeAnne Marsh

Manufacturing is the underpinning of the economy, in many ways. Each manufacturing job supports three other jobs in the overall economy, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, and there is a broader supply chain impact as well. Researchers at the Arizona Commerce Authority report manufacturing jobs tend to be high-wage, which … [More]

John Solheim, Karsten Manufacturing Corp./PING, Inc.

from John Solheim

Manufacturing in the Valley runs the gamut from large fabrication facilities to small “mom and pop” shops like we once were when we first began making putters in my dad’s garage. Manufacturing is an economic engine that supports other industries as diverse as hospitality, construction and healthcare. For some, the word “manufacturing” may conjure up images of conveyor belts, … [More]

Employee Engagement Lies in the Little Things

by Todd Patkin

True employee engagement needn’t be expensive or difficult to implement. Engagement is really just another word for on-the-job happiness, and we intuitively know that happiness is connected to the simple things in life. So why not apply that principle to the workplace? Over the years, I’ve found that simple things like gratitude, respect, and autonomy make people far happier … [More]

The Blind Spot in Sales Management

by Jack Daly

It’s a simple fact of business: Without sales, no one else downstream can do their jobs. Because of how vital sales are to a company, CEOs frequently tend to misuse their best people. There are three “sins” that minimize the sales management role, which ultimately holds the company back from achieving its growth. When they misallocate key players, small to medium-sized … [More]

What Does Technology Look Like in the Valley?

by Don Harris

Technology industry sectors, ranging from aerospace and defense to semiconductors and bioscience, represent the cornerstone of Arizona’s economy. They provide high-paying jobs, most of which are located in the Greater Phoenix area. Many of the major manufacturers are household names, while others are start-ups aided by venture capital that never seems to be enough to meet the … [More]

Small Companies Can Compete with the Giants

by Corrine Sandler

Before the Internet, small companies didn’t stand a chance against the Goliaths. That’s because no war can be won without intelligence and, before the digital era, collecting actionable data and information about one’s competitors, market and customers cost a lot more than most small businesses — the Davids — could afford. But today, the Davids are taking down the Goliaths. … [More]

General Liability Insurance: Is ‘Enough’ Really Enough?

by Sue Kern-Fleischer

Risk. It’s a four-letter word that can have devastating effects on a business if proper insurance is not in place. According to findings from the Chubb 2013 Private Company Risk Survey, in the past three years, 44 percent of private companies experienced at least one loss event related to D&O (Directors and Officers) liability, EPL (Employment Practices Liability), … [More]

Knowing and Doing: The Board Member’s Key Responsibilities

by Deborah Whitehurst

Being a board member — like being a business executive — boils down to two key responsibilities: knowing and doing. “Knowing the organization, believing in (and even being passionate about) its mission — that’s a primary responsibility for a board member,” says Shelley Cohn, board member of the Arizona Community Foundation, Childsplay and the Desert Botanical Garden. “Then … [More]

Jared Smith: Going the Extra Mile in Service

by Alison Stanton

For Jared Smith, president of Bluemedia, the phrase “make it perfect” is much more than just his company’s motto. It’s a personal mantra he and his employees live and breathe 24/7/365. It’s this commitment to perfection and always going the extra mile for their clients that have helped make Bluemedia one of the top large-format signage companies in the nation. “This has been a … [More]

Social Media Not a Bonanza for Sales Prospecting

by RaeAnne Marsh

A vigorous social media presence is widely seen as essential for success in today’s hyper-competitive direct sales environments. But even among the younger, always-connected generations, it is not found to be most effective for actually generating new sales. In a survey of more than 2,200 salespeople, Trelitha R. Bryant, senior V.P. of field testing and research at Behavioral … [More]

Storytelling App Enables Peer-to-Peer Marketing

by RaeAnne Marsh

Splicity, a new mobile app from Phoenix entrepreneurs Caleb Barclay and Ben Hall, offers businesses a platform to enable their loyal customers to create 17-second videos for strong peer-to-peer marketing. The initial idea was to make storytelling more accessible to the everyday person, Barclay explains. “We wanted to create a community around story-art framework.” But he notes … [More]

Mortgage Lender Targets Underserved Phoenix Market

by RaeAnne Marsh

Recognizing opportunity in Phoenix’s housing market, Carrington Mortgage Services has opened a new Scottsdale office, its second in the area. This is part of the company’s national strategy to target a specific underserved segment — those with a FICO credit score of less than 630. Arizona was among the areas hardest hit by the recent housing collapse, a distinction it shared … [More]

Workforce Services Growth

by RaeAnne Marsh

Relocating its corporate headquarters from San Jose to Phoenix, Matrix Absence Management has expanded its Phoenix operations — which includes the company’s national call center — to a 65,000-square-foot facility in a building that allows for expected further growth. Matrix occupies the top two floors of the three-story building, and has first rights to take on space on the … [More]

Website Launch the Right Way

by Kevin Surace, CEO of Appvance 

The recent high-profile misfiring of the launch of the U.S. government’s healthcare website may have captured the headlines, but most brands and corporations make similar mistakes when launching their own mission-critical mobile or Web apps. In the release of, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent, outages and slow response were the norm and major brand … [More]

‘Good’ for Business

by Mike Hunter

BIEN — An acronym for “Building an International Economic Network” — is a first-of-its-kind website to link businesses representing various industries in Arizona to each other and across international boundaries in Mexico and Canada. Partners include ASBA, Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Mexico Commission and the Canada Arizona Business Council. … [More]

In-the-Cloud Reliability

by Mike Hunter

ReliaCloud, by OneNeck IT Solutions, provides public, private and hybrid cloud flexibility. Now, with availability in Phoenix, customers throughout the Southwest region have the opportunity to harness the power of a local cloud. ReliaCloud is built to support the most demanding of applications, including SAP, Oracle EBS, Microsoft Dynamics (AX and CRM), data warehouses and … [More]

AZ Economy On the Go

by Mike Hunter

The Arizona’s Economy App is a project of the University of Arizona’s Economic and Business Research Center at the Eller College of Management, which has 65+ years of providing Arizona citizens and decision makers with award-winning economic forecasts and applied economic research for Arizona. The free app for iPhone, iPad and Android offers users access to real-time economic … [More]

Cost and Effect of Employees’ Bad Internet Behavior 

by RaeAnne Marsh

Information technology managers report a high incidence of troublesome habits among office workers using company computers, according to a U.S. survey recently released by TeamViewer, a leading provider of remote control and online meetings software. The survey was aimed at determining how big an effect common “bad behaviors” have, both on the IT department and on the company’s … [More]

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